Friday, November 25, 2011

Fill In The Blank Friday, 11/25/11

Happy Black Friday!

Today just so happens to be the craziest shopping day of the year. But, hopefully in the midst of it all you'll take a moment to fill in some blanks...it's always more fun when you play along :).

1. Waking up at the break of dawn to go shopping is my idea of pure insanity. There is no deal out there worth all the hassle. Repeat. Believe .

2. If I were to go shopping today I would be on the hunt for a new Advent wreath. I have the typical round brass circle with openings for tapers. I get the whole "eternal circle" thing but frankly it doesn't work for me. So I'm on the lookout for something new and neat. I tried just pillars on a tray, and then tealights as well, but it's not cutting it for me .

3. The best thing I ate yesterday was my parents' dressing. It is DRESSING, not STUFFING, although in the interest of time, they do use stuffing mix in theirs. But it is worth every moment of indulgence to eat it a couple of times a year. Let me put it this way ... a few years ago, I was having a rough time at the job I was in at the time. Just to make me feel better about things, my mama made me turkey breast and dressing one weekend. THAT was love .

4. Something I've been learning lately is I need to trust that the Universe is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to, and that I have to trust the entire process, not just the infinitesimal sliver of it that I see .

5. I cannot start my day without breakfast. This week, I even ate at o-dark-thirty before taking off for the gym. Worked just as well as fixing breakfast once I got to work .... but breakfast is a must, no ifs ands or buts .

6. My nighttime attire consists of like once I get home, or time for beddy-bye? If it's the former, I immediately change into jeans (top stays the same, usually). For sleeping, PJ or yoga pants and a tee .

7. I am looking forward to going back to the ice rink this weekend, this time with my godchildren. I had SO much fun today! .

Lessons from the Rink

Today, I went ice-skating for the first time in almost 27 years. The last time I went was January 1985, at the Eastland Mall in Charlotte NC (back when it wasn't such a scary place, from what I hear). In the lowest level of the mall was an ice rink. My cousin went a good bit, but it was our first time ever. My brother made one trip around, and came back to our relative and said, "Mary, thank you for paying for me to skate, but I think I'll stay over here with you." As for me, I was younger but heavier than I am now, and also way more fearful. I'm not sure why - usually, youth is full of reckless abandon, but I was a way more calculating soul back then. Guess I'm like Benjamin Button, born old and getting younger with each year......

I made my way around that day, very haltingly and unsure. My cousin glided by fairly easily. There was a young girl there that day who was in the center of the rink and she was probably in competitive skating -- she was that good. Great, even more reason for me to not even be out there, because I was a total flop. Epic fail. I stayed on the ice just putzing around, and then we were ready to go. I was never so glad to pull skates off in my life. Roller skating - totally different. Not that I was any more athletic on concrete or wood compared to ice, but I had four wheels under my feet instead of a blade in the center.

Since then, as most of you know, things are a bit different in my life. And today was the opening for a new venture in downtown Greenville: a seasonal ice-skating rink! We have a year-round rink on the eastside of Greenville at one of the county rec facilities, but I have never gone there to skate. In downtown, just next to City Hall and in front of the Courtyard by Marriott, they have constructed "UBS Ice on Main" running from today until January 8.

I knew about the rink, but I didn't think much about it until something struck me while watching TV this morning. And it hit me: GO SKATING! I was planning to get in a workout anyway today, and as much as I enjoy my gym, I thought this might be a good way to burn off some of the feasting from yesterday. (Lesson One: shake things up!)

So I drove over, parked in the garage and walked about a block to the rink. Paid the fee (which included skate rental) and after lacing up the skates proceeded to go to the rink. I stood there for a couple of minutes because DUH... I had laced up on the steps near the entrance and would have to walk on the blades across brickwork. Doofus me. After a few seconds, this nice gentleman who works there said, "Ma'am, I'll help you to the rubber mats." Once I got to the mats, next to the rink, things were much easier! (So Lesson Two: know your surroundings).

I got out on the ice and things were already better than there were in 1985. One, I'm older and no longer care whether or not I look stupid out there. And two, I have better balance and stronger legs than I did then. So right away, +2 in my favor! The first lap around was wobbly, but then I began to do much better. And then better, and better. I got more confident, and while I wasn't doing stunts, I wasn't always hanging on to the sides of the rink either. I learned to maneuver around those who were standing still. (Lesson Three: Crawl, then walk, then....)

Now, at one point, we all had to get off the ice. It had gotten very grooved, with plenty of shaved ice especially along the outer edges. So we all took a break while they cleared the shaved ice and brought out the Zamboni. It gave us all a chance to tighten our laces, check our skates, and just be patient while the rink went through some needed repairs (Lesson Four: Take time for repairs now to save trouble later).

So with ice restored, I got back out there.... WOW! Much better! Smoother surface, easier gliding, and things were going good. I got to Turn Four (so to speak) and ..... I ended up on my left leg, knee down, and circling. I did a full 360 on my left knee. Well, what else could I do at that point except throw my arms up in a Victory formation and go, "Tada!!" Wipeout #1! (Lesson Five: Pride goeth before a fall. Literally, in this case!)

While out on the ice, I felt like my skates just weren't quite right. They were a smidge too big. Unfortunately, they don't have half-sizes at the skate rental shack, so I had to go down a whole size. And re-establish myself on the ice .... learn to rebalance, regroup and get going again! And so I did ... not sure that the shoe change made that much of a difference but sometimes a perceived advantage is all it takes. (Lesson Six: Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!)

After about another 20 minutes, my feet were starting to ache just a little. So I figured one more trip around, and then that would be it. And so it was. But I wasn't ready to leave downtown just yet. So I figured why not walk the few blocks up to the Hyatt (the start of the downtown revitalization area all those years back), and walk my way back down to the garage. It had been quite some time since I'd really walked downtown Greenville, and I couldn't believe how many new things had opened in just a few months. Amazing!

After a couple of stops (Barkery Bistro and Mast General Store), it was definitely time for me to head out..... but I can't wait to go back to the rink! Planning to take my godkids this weekend, and have some more fun! If you are in Upstate SC and are looking for something fun to do, check them out online for the times and additional information. You won't be sorry!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

State of the Me Address

It has been an interesting few weeks for me...... yeah, let's just say "interesting." I wrote in September about having a few days off. I ended up taking an extra day, very unplanned, due to a medical emergency.

On my last planned day off, I was at a meeting of our lymphedema support group. We had a special guest speaker, and as I was listening to her talk, I suddenly felt very queasy and then this overriding sensation that I was dizzy and needed to get some fresh air. My body and brain were not in communication with each other all that well, and swoooooooooon down I went. Short story: there was no medical reason I should have fainted. So they asked me to follow up with my primary care doc -- and as luck would have it, I had an appointment with her the next week. We were due to go over some labwork that I'd had done the week before.

My doctor, to her credit, said, "Labwork, yeah yeah. What's the deal with you fainting?" We went over the labwork which did show a couple of areas of concern -- but she did not want to start me on any medication until they had ruled out a cardiac issue. She set up a referral for me to a cardiologist. Words I never thought I'd utter: "Hi, my name is Nettiemac, I am 42, and I have a cardiologist."

So a couple of weeks later (end of October), I found myself in a cardiologist's office, being hooked up for an EKG. And afterwards, they sent me to another area, where I was immediately fitted with a holter monitor, which I wore dutifully for 24 hours. I go in this week for an echocardiogram, and then we'll go from there.

THEN, a week after that, I was sitting in my office at mid-morning when I felt this pain in my stomach -- the kind that you feel during a bout of food poisoning. Hey, having gone through that just once in my life, believe me, I never want to go through it again. Four hours later, I was driving myself home, sick as could be. I collapsed onto the bed and did not move again for four-and-a-half hours. I swear, I think I stayed in the same position that entire time. I woke up the next morning fully expecting to be okay enough to go into work. But other plans were afoot: I didn't even have the energy to stand long enough to make breakfast. Oh yeah. I was going nowhere but back to sleep. By the evening, I felt well enough to plan to go in the next day. So I am guessing it was some sort of 24-hour stomach bug. But UGH UGH UGH!!!

Health issues aside, there have been some changes at work too. Plans are for our sister company to move under the same roof as us, and so there has been some restructuring and reorganization of duties. So come January 1, I will be the main point-of-contact for payroll and a few other HR/accounting related reports. And we have a new HR generalist to handle the heavier-duty HR responsibilities. I met her this week (first week) and so far, so very good.

The only downside is that my plans for NaNoWriMo 2011 are out the window. Who has time? I can't even hope to make it up over Thanksgiving weekend!

All in all, it's a good life, and I have so much to be thankful for -- a doctor that is looking out for my health, good friends who love me, a great job, and much much more!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Fill In the Blank Friday

Happy Friday!
Let's fill in some blanks!


1. My favorite thing about this week was/is having dinner with my godson .... my sweet little "birthday buddy" is growing up so fast .

2. Colder weather makes me cold but strangely energized ... at least until we hit full-on winter! (Then, it makes me want to hibernate!) .

3. Three things that make me terribly happy as of late are my godchildren, my dog, and the NaNoWriMo project I'm doing .

4. If I could only wear one kind of shoe for the rest of my life, I'd choose leather clogs/mules. Comfy, dressy, casual, love

5. My personality type is INFP. I used to rebel at the thought of being an "introvert" until I realized that it's not so much a statement on how social I am, as to how I get my energy. Solitude renews and energizes me, so yeah.... introvert .

6. I have a serious problem resisting two things: mindless eating when really stressed, and the kitchen section of department stores. You laugh, I'm not. I am POWERLESS over those lovely shiny tools and appliances .

7. My favorite color to wear is every color except orange and yellow - everything else is fair game. And fabric? Denim. I'd wear it every day if I could! (Oh wait, once I get home, I do!) .